May 3, 2022
The Google Map (Click on any of these in the sidebar to get full address)
Favorite 2nd Hand Stores in Houston
Screenshot of the map:
May 1, 2022
Phoenicia is a Houston treasure and has helped create an awareness of the amazing food of the Near East and Middle East.
A new kid on the block, and a store that blew me away is Zaina Market at 2735 Fondren. A store that you must go to visit as soon as possible.
There is a fresh produce section that includes shelled walnuts and pistachios.
There are aisles upon aisles of the latest and greatest food products from this area of the world. And there is a meat section, and a bakery. They'll even make a pizza for you if you ask the baker.
I'll let the photos give you a taste of the place.
April 30, 2022
Tucked into a little non descript and slightly decrepit strip center on Broadway near I-45 South, is Cuu Long Quan. I discovered this place when I sent a query for a specific Vietnamese appetizer, cha gio. You see, as time has passed, more Vietnamese places are moving away from the traditional, crispy, fried, rice paper wrapper and substituting a spring roll/lumpia wheat based wrapper. Because doing the rice paper right is a challenge. You need to rehydrate the dried wrapper in a water and sugar solution, deep fry it watching closely so that it doesn't burn or get too greasy. It is a real skill. And someone on the Chowdown in Chinatown - Houston (Facebook group) recommended this place.
Well, the cha gio was terrific. As was a flat noodle (lots of wok hai) with chicken and vegetables dish. I am already looking forward to coming back here for cha gio.
One caveat emptor though. As of May 2022, the interior smelled really bad, as if they needed to go in and do some maintenance on their plumbing piping. I hope that someone reading this, who speaks Vietnamese, will talk to them, as this could really be hurting their business. And they probably aren't aware of the issue since they are there every day.
But the cha gio. Man, was it ever excellent.
March 31, 2022
The lines form around 11:30 for the opening at noon. There are only 12 tables and the restaurant is staffed by the sushi master and his wife handles front of the room.
The food is fantastic and I will let the photos tell the story. There is a lunch menu from which we made our choices. Recommended: the curry udon soup ; and the salmon salad; but everything here is great.
On most days Sushi Miyagi is open only from 12 to 3 (see photo of business hours). I can't recommend this place highly enough. A Houston institution.
I first heard about Sao Lao on N. Shepherd, just a little bit north of the B&W Meat Market in early 2022 through the Houston Heights Foodies food group on Facebook (I'm a member). The photos of the dishes looked fantastic, and, in February, I had my first opportunity to check it out. Wow.
A small menu, and that is a good thing. A lot of attention to each dish. The chef told me that she started with some family recipes for the Boat Soup, but then kept working and working on it until she was satisfied. A lot of spices, prepared in a way that none overwhelmed the others. Just a fantastic broth with rice noodles pork meatballs and tender ribeye steak slices. Again, wow.
To begin, order the jerky, which comes with sticky rice and a sauce and lettuce and have them show you the way to eat it.
Next, go for, well, based on our experience, just about anything on the menu is going to be fantastic. But we had the boat soup, and the crunchy crispy Laotian rice. And we had dumplings.
I have a gut feeling that this place is going to become incredibly popular so go before the crowds discover it.
John Nechman writes: “ Our friend, foodie and expert on all things fried chicken and Mexican, Jay P. Francis, was sweet enough to pick up a jar for me of something I've been trying to hunt down for a long time--mayhaw jelly. I've had a crazy work schedule but wanted to meet up for lunch (and to get my jelly!), and to be able to include Richi, who was anxious to see Jay, we needed a place between the school where he teaches in the North End and the Galleria, where he had some serious shopping to do. We settled on Sao-Lao Thai Café (5013 N. Shepherd), a place Jay highly recommended.
Though humble in size and appearance, Sao Lao more than makes up for it in flavor. I went full-on Lao, ordering the house-made Lao beef jerky with a traditional spicy tomato sauce and sticky rice. It put to shame anything I've bought at Bucee's.
As my imagined/imaginary Laotian grandmother would likely tell me--WASH YOUR HANDS! Little pouches of sticky rice come with just about everything--the idea is to pinch off a portion, roll it into a ball, and dunk it into the omnipresent sauces while eating whatever they come with. Richi ordered what was described on the menu as sliced filet ignon but which was actually a Laotion specialty that appeared to be a beef tartare made with ground tripe and served with lettuce leaves to make "tacos," along more of that sticky rice. He scarfed down every bit of it.
I had the Nam Khao, which looked like a large bowl of paella adorned with lettuce leaves. The rice was crispy fried and cooked with a red curry sauce, dessicated coconut, cilantro, green onions, spices, peanuts, and ground fermented pork. It is served cold, but I enjoyed its unique and complex flavors. Jay spoke glowingly of the beef boat noodle soup, which looked like a Louisiana gumbo rich with roux. It must be great--Jay ordered it on his first visit as well.
We ended the meal with a mango sticky rice and thanked the sweet server at the register who we all thought was Lao but is actually El Salvadoran. Like us, she appears to really love the food at this delightufl little spot. “